The United States offered Russia a prisoner exchange to free Brittney Griner

The American government does not despair of freeing star basketball player Brittney Griner, currently on trial near Moscow for “drug smuggling”, charges for which she faces up to ten years in prison. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken (equivalent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs) said that the United States had formulated “a substantial offer” to Russia “several weeks ago” to secure the release of the double Olympic champion and former marine Paul Whelan, also detained in Russia.

An arms dealer in return?

The US leader intends to raise the issue this week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. According to CNN, the Biden administration would have proposed in June a prisoner exchange: the arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States, against Griner and Whelan.

The same day, the star of the Phoenix Mercury (WNBA) and the Russian club of Yekaterinburg defended himself at the helm of having wanted to bring any prohibited substance into the country. She was arrested in February at Moscow airport in possession of a vaping liquid based on medical cannabis, a product authorized in the United States but prohibited in Russia.

His detention has caused a considerable stir across the Atlantic, where many believe that it is a means of pressure on the part of the Russian authorities, while relations between the two countries have been extremely tense since the invasion of Russia. Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s troops.

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